General (Sort of) Tso’s Chicken

by Anne Maxfield on February 18, 2019

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenIt’s funny, but as much as I love to eat Chinese food (and chicken), cooking Chinese is something I rarely do.

This changed recently when I was looking for something different to do with chicken thighs. Since I hate deep fat frying food this recipe appealed because it used a lot less oil and was easy.

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenGeneral (Sort of) Tso’s Chicken

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or a mix, patted dry, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 6 dried whole red chiles (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

Whisk cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken to cornstarch mixture and toss to coat.

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chiles and half the chicken (don’t crowd the pan), cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and a light brown crust forms, 5–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, Sriracha, tomato paste, ginger, 3 tablespoons water, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Transfer cooked chicken to a plate. If needed, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in skillet over high. Cook remaining chicken 5 minutes until it’s cooked through.

Stir in honey mixture. Return first batch of chicken to skillet, toss to coat, and cook until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 2 minutes.

Plate and garnish with scallions. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenMy verdict: I’ve made this a few times (with all thighs) and it’s delicious!

The original recipe called for roasting some green beans to go with it, but when did you ever get anything but (barely) steamed broccoli with General Tso’s?

Jasmine rice goes great with it and I’ve served bok choy and other Asian veggies alongside.

Usually I don’t need to add additional oil to the skillet, but you might.

If you buy tomato paste in a tube, you won’t be wondering what to do with most of an open can.

I’ve started adding the chiles to the first batch of chicken because the first time I made this, we didn’t think it was spicy enough. If you’re leery of too much heat, add them when you cook the second batch.

 

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Richard February 19, 2019 at 11:02 am

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